Originally Posted by Jolagh
So you guys are thinking that a set set up like:
G - .166
C - .124
G - .079
C - .061
F - .045
Is a better way to go? That would make them all around 38 or 39 lbs of tension. Would I still need to get the nut cut to fit these strings?
Here's the equation I'm using: (UW x (2 x L x F)2) / 386.4
UW is supplied in the CK tension chart. L would be 35 here rather than 34. F is the frequency value I've noted below. I've verified this equation produces the values listed in the CK tension chart when using 34 as the L value, so it should be good for 35 as well when using 35 for L.
So for 35" scale, using the balanced 4-string drop set with the 124 for the low C, I get these values:
124 - 39.06 lbs tension at C (32.7 Hz)
82 - 39.39 lbs tension at G (49 Hz)
61 - 39.08 lbs tension at C (65.4 Hz)
45 - 39.15 lbs tension at F (87.3 Hz)
Incidentally this is the exact set I have on my 35" Spector Euro 4LX which is tuned CGCF. I aimed for about 40 lbs tension based on the fact that a typical steel 105 E string is right around 40 lbs on a 35" scale bass (I used D'addario's ProSteel unit weight as my basis for my math on steels).
So for your low G, you can go either with a 166, which is 38.66 lbs tension at G (24.5 Hz) or a 174 which is 41.63 lbs tension at the same pitch. The 166 would probably be considered the more balanced option.
Keep in mind in these balanced sets, your higher pitch strings are going to feel looser than you're used to. You might like or dislike that based on your playing style.
I'm a metal pick player most of the time with a heavy pick attack and a fairly light fretting hand. I loved the balanced feel right away.
The cool thing is you won't have to modify your bridge on the Spector for the thick strings because of the taper CK uses. That's a huge plus for me, considering I was having a hard time getting a 130 Fat Beam through the bridge slot on my Euros.
If you have MS Excel, shoot me a PM and I can send you the spreadsheet I use to calculate tension. It's fairly crude, but it allows you to pull down a note frequency for a particular gauge and will show you the tension as well as total tension for all strings selected. Fairly handy for getting an idea of how much tension will be on the neck vs. what you're used to using. It's got separate tabs for CK, D'Addario ProSteel and D'Addario XL's at both 34" and 35" scale, since those are the only strings I've been able to find online who supply the unit weight for their strings, which you need for the tension equation.
Good luck, and stop by the Spector Club thread if you have any questions related to the bass. It's a lively thread.